Steph Houghton: England captain out of World Cup qualifier with ankle injury

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Steph Houghton has won 121 England caps during her career

England's captain Steph Houghton has been forced to withdraw from Friday's World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia due to an ankle injury. Arsenal's Leah Williamson will lead the side for the first-time.

The Manchester City defender, aged 33, will be returning to her club, with England due to face Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Sarina Wiegman, England's head coach, wished Houghton "speedy recovery."

Houghton was injured during the final training session of the team before the game at Southampton.

Three years after her senior England debut, Defender Williamson, 24, assumes the captaincy.

Friday's match will be Wiegman's first since she took over as interim manager Hege Riise's on September 1. She may also be without Chelsea forward Frankirby, who only attended reduced training sessions this week.

England qualified for the 2023 World Cup after having lost two of their April friendlies against Canada in April.